Twitter jumps on the bandwagon, bans revenge porn

Revenge porn is now officially a thing, as Twitter updates its rules in its privacy policy to stop people from posting intimate photos without the consent of the people in them.

The micro-blogging site also issued an updated FAQ regarding revenge porn.

Some of the Twitter rules have been changed, and now stand as follows:

"Private information: You may not publish or post other people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission. You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent."

However, Twitter is not the first major site to combat revenge porn. Google recently tried to do the same thing, by banning all pornography from its blogging service Blogger.com, but had to undo the changes as some bloggers say they use such images to ‘express their identities’.

In late February 2015, Reddit also changed its user policy, forbidding the posting of sexual photographs of people without their consent.

“No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on reddit,” the network said.

In today’s announcement, Twitter used BuzzFeed News’ 12 Reddit questions as a guide for its own FAQ.

Twitter’s answers to the questions, originally posed to Reddit, can be found on BuzzFeed.

UPDATE: Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, has urged other social networks to follow suit: “The repercussions of ‘revenge porn’ are huge and in some cases it has completely ruined lives.

We fully support Twitter bringing in this new rule, especially on the back of the law changing in February meaning that perpetrators can be prosecuted and could serve up to two years in prison. A high-profile site like Twitter making these changes raises the issue with people across all demographics and we urge other social media sites to follow suit.

"The real issue though is education - this is what will get to the heart of the matter and stop it even happening in the first place. It’s a horrific offence but, sadly, perpetrators often don’t consider the seriousness and impact of what they are doing.

"They may not even think of it as an actual crime, particularly in the case of younger people. I’m sure if you spoke to many of the people who have posted revenge porn, they wouldn’t have thought at any point that they have committed what is effectively a criminal sexual offence the same as a physical assault.

This is a problem we see with online safety across the board – be it shopping scams to trolling, people just don’t think about online crime as being as serious as physical crime and this must change."